Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Knitting Math

Last night, I sat down with Icarus and a bad movie and settled in for a good, long knit. For those who are keeping track, the bridal shower is scheduled for October 27. This is just over five weeks from now. I've been working on Icarus for roughly three months now (or is is four?). I have used up half my yarn. This suggests that I am a little behind.

How behind? Well, last night, as I was yarn-overing all over the place, I absently tried to figure it out. I knitted for three hours. I finished--are you ready for this?--seven rows. Super slow mo: seeeeevvvvveeeennnn rrrrooooowwwws. Seven. In three hours.

I just started Chart 2. Yes, you read that right. This is terribly, terribly misleading. The pattern starts with Chart 1 (surprising, huh?), and Chart 1 is only 42 rows. You might think this means you work 42 rows and you are done. Get ready to be sorely disappointed. If you actually read the directions, you will see that you then repeat Chart 1 five more times. And then you repeat most of it a sixth time, just for good measure. It has taken me more than three months to finish *&!^%$# Chart 1. But I won't belabor the point.

So last night, I started Chart 2, and I was happy. There are only 14 rows in Chart 2, and as far as I can tell, I only have to work them once. This is a huge improvement. But then there's Chart 3, still manageable at 16 rows with no repeats. And Chart 4, which is 24 rows, but still no repeats. And then there are just 4 rows of edging and it's done!

But wait. Let's just add this up, shall we? I'm on row 6 of Chart 2. This means I have 8 more rows of Chart 2, plus 16 rows of Chart 3, plus 24 rows of Chart 4, plus 4 rows of edging. Here's where the math comes in. If my addition is correct (and this is by no means certain), I have 52 rows left before I'm done. Last night, I worked 7 rows (of 375 stitches each) in 3 hours. This means it took me about (calculators, please) 25.71 minutes per row. If we multiply this by the 52 more rows I have to do, it will take me 1337.14 minutes, or about 22.3 hours.

Is the problem becoming clear? I have to knit--on Icarus alone--for more than 22 hours in the next five weeks. And that's not all. These calculations are based on a stitch count of 375 stitches per row. But alas, in its evil, evil way, Icarus gets longer with each row. By the time I drag my exhausted, sobbing self across the finish line and prepare to bind off (a prospect that strikes fear into my heart all by itself), there will be 523 stitches in each row. I'm not even sure how to calculate how this will affect my time, but I'm pretty damned sure it's not going to make it any less.

I hate math.

18 comments:

Quail Hill Knits said...

And what's even funnier is that you were SMILING as you worked on Icarus Saturday!

Tammy said...

Think of it this way... I've heard that once you get to change charts you at least feel like it's going faster. And, if broken down, 24 hours is equal to 8 or 9 good movies... or a season of, say, House. Or the series of your fancy. I think you can knit this scarf in 3 weeks! I think we should start a pool.

marit said...

That's why I never include math in my knitting- I just knit!

sophanne said...

It so makes me think of those word problems in algebra I as in, If Yarnhog knits at 600 sph (stitches per hour) howl long will it be before she begins knitting in her sleep?

Kristin said...

Any knit that requires that mcu math must be cursed. No knitter can be faulted.

I believe in 22 hours you can finish it up. Maybe you should have a race,(with yourself)get one of those fancy countdown things for your blog and a BIG prize for yourself when you finish. Even bigger if you finish earlier. Let me suggest spa treatments.

MelissaKnits said...

one stitch at a time...
and the movie idea is good.
oh, also hire someone to cook, clean, and schlep kids. No problem!!

Angelika said...

You know, the time it took you to figure out the math, you might have been able to knit at least another half row? Just kidding. I saw the boring inner part and never attempted Icarus. Is there a way to make more of chart 2 and less of 1 to make it more interesting? You can do it, I'm sure, now that the worst part is over. I'm rooting for you.

Kim said...

I heard someone say once, "It's hard by the yard, but it's a cinch by the inch." That being said, I think I'd go nuts if I knit for 3 hours and finished only a few rows. Just think how beautiful it will be when it's done! Keep on knitting!

uberstrickenfrau said...

Just by the fact the accursed thing is named Icarus, wasn't he the chap who flew too close to the sun and got his wings burned off and fell to a horrible death??????

I rest my case.

Karen said...

Hmm, I was wondering what the odds were that you'll make two of these?
Ok, just kidding.

Even though the rows get longer, it really does seem to go faster once you get past the never-ending chart 1. Hang in there. You can do this!

Kate said...

Your calculations leave me feeling a little faint. I need to go rest now. But you, you must knit like the wind!

5elementknitr said...

Oh. My. GAWD! Have a drink tonite, for tomorrow and the next 30 hours worth, you will need coffee (and reading glasses - damn small lace stitches.)

CatBookMom said...

Great analysis, and, as Quail Hill Knits has commented, you *were* smiling while you worked on it when waiting for the Yarn Harlot's presentation.

Only 22+ hours in 5 weeks - slam dunk. Not a problem.

Maureen said...

Now, now, now....it's not the math you hate, it's the ever increasing stitch count. Remember, math is your friend!

To paraphrase your father, "You need it to build bridges."

And to paraphrase me from the post that led me to your blog, "If you promise not to say you hate math, I'll promise you that you'll finish Icarus before me." Mine has been languishing in the UFO basket since last summer....9 rows left and I'd be finished. Do you think I can motivate myself?!? But I know you can!

Sarah said...

Math sucks. I was baffled even reading your post. That is how mathmatically inclined I am.

Romi said...

You can do it! :)

The_Add_Knitter said...

You know a Kitchen Aid mixer makes a lovely shower gift....kidding! 22 hours is totally doable in 5 weeks, just schedule time every day for 2 rows and you'll be done before you know it!

Viktoria said...

don't think... just knit!